First, a quick recap of last week’s race. I finally got something right! Giant Pioneer was much the fastest out of the gate and busted out to a 3-1/2 length lead, but couldn’t hold off the late charge of Serve of Honor. Serve of Honor was victorious, 2-3/4 lengths ahead of Giant Pioneer. Rained For Forty stalked the pace and hung in there, finishing a solid third.
This week, the Future Stars Series checks in on some allowance winners for the first time! We head to the state of Kansas, where 11 3yos compete in a NW3L at 8 furlongs on the dirt. The field is:
#1 – I Want Money (Wicked Strong x Sunday Silence x Fappiano) – Owned by ashokfarms1 – 25/1
Race Record: 8:2-1-0; $16,014
Race History: One of 5 geldings in the field, I Want Money is the only one that has seen a change in ownership. Originally bred and campaigned by harrylan5, after 3 poor MSW efforts, I Want Money was gelded and dropped into MCL races. His first effort there, at 5f on the turf, wasn’t much better, but his second MCL try, this time back at 5f on the dirt in September 2018 for a $5,000 tag, finally saw him break through. In that race, he once again got away from the gate slow and started last, but unlike his previous 4 efforts, he showed a solid closing kick and closed to win by ½ length, earning a 70 SP. He took a shot at the starter level but wasn’t able to keep up with the better horses, so he went back to the claiming ranks and tried a $3,000 NW2L at 5f on dirt, where he again broke slow but beat the field of 5 by ½ length. That win earned him a career-high 79 SP. Ashokfarms1 claimed him out of that race and tried to stretch him out beyond 5f for the first time, running an a $60,000 NW3L claimer at 8.25f on the turf. I Want Money was no match for the winner there, but held his own in 2nd, picking up a 74 SP. He heads back to the dirt for his first dirt route effort, and first 3yo race, here.
Pedigree: Wicked Strong, a real life dirt router, currently stands for $7,500 in Kentucky but has not yet had any foals make their racing debut. In the sim, he has a little more history, and his third-year crop of 2018 currently contains 86 runners, of which 32 have achieved victory, winning at a 13% rate (lower than his 18.5% rate for older horses). As a sire, Wicked Strong’s progeny prefer dirt (77% of earnings on dirt) with a very slight preference for sprinting (59% sprints, 145 vs. 143 SP index). His 3yo crop, meanwhile, has not seen any stakes winners yet, though 2 are stakes placed (one graded) in dirt sprints. The only other horse with the Wicked Strong x Sunday Silence cross was unsuccessful in 4 career races, with only a 3rd place finish to show (he is still active, but has not raced since 2016).
Expectations: The new owner clearly felt that I Want Money needed to stretch beyond the 5 furlong distance, and I don’t disagree. He’s a horse that showed slow gate speed but was able to close a bit, and it’ll be very interesting to see what he does with some extra distance on the dirt for the first time. If he was coming back in a $5,000 NW3L claimer, I’d love his chances. But this is a huge class jump for a horse that hasn’t been successful above a $5K tag, and thus far he’s been a cut below the best of this field. There’s definitely some unknown, and potentially untapped, ability in dirt routes, and the Wicked Strong x Sunday Silence cross certainly indicates he might like some distance, but I think he’s probably overmatched here.
Watch Level: Low
#2 – Carson Day Ted (New Year’s Day x Blackwatch Plaid [Carson City x Sadler’s Wells]) – Owned by tcopyright – 6/1
Race Record: 8:1-1-0; ($24,166)
Race History: Carson Day Ted began his career back in April 2018 and was immediately successful. Debuting in a 5.5f MSW, he sat midpack early before turning on the jets and picking off horses one by one. He would go on to win the race by ½ length, earning a 70 SP. That was good enough for his owner to try a stakes race next time out, but Carson Day Ted never stood a chance in that one, only gaining slightly while staying in the back of the back. Dropping back to the allowance level, Carson Day Ted has been struggling a bit ever since, and comes into this race as the only entrant eligible for a NW2L race. However, while the results have not been there (other than a very close 2nd, after getting caught at the wire in Race #6, by a horse that would go on to post a 99 SP in a 9f allowance win in his 3yo debut), Carson Day Ted showed a significant improvement is speed figures once he hit the routing distance back in Race #5. In that race, his 4th place finish in an open allowance earned him an 82 SP, and he has been improving ever since. He comes into this race off of a solid stalking race where he finished 4th, picking up a 90 SP (a career high) in his 2019 debut.
Pedigree: The 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner, New Year’s Day was the #23 ranked second-crop sire in the US in 2018, before relocating to Brazil for the 2019 breeding season. His 2018 sim crop consists of 25 runners and 13 winners to date, picking up victories at a 16% rate. His progeny, meanwhile, have been pretty ambivalent about where they run, with relative earnings splits (52/48 turf/dirt, 58/42 sprint/route) across categories. His 2018 crop is likewise split, with his only stakes placed foal most successful in turf routes, but his top earner being a dirt router. New Year’s Day has a lone graded stakes winner through 6 crops thus far, 7yo Danish New Year, who struck it big in the 2017 Movieland Turf Cup - G1 (10f-T).. Carson Day Ted is the 7th foal from 17yo dam Blackwatch Plaid, who was 3 of 40 in her career. Those 3 wins include 2 dirt route allowances (at 8.5f and 10f), where she showed her top abilities. Her 6 other foals have also shown affinity for the dirt (none of the 16 collective wins from her foals have come on turf), with some preferring routes and some sprints. The most impressive, Black Days Ted (Harlan’s Holiday), is a 5 time winner (all non-maiden wins at the allowance level) in dirt routes, all at 8-8.5f who has broken a 100 SP 15 times, including a max of 111. Unfortunately, he could do no better than 5th in 5 career stakes efforts. New Year’s Day has been paired with a Carson City mare one other time in the sim, but that pairing did not end well, with the horse being a career claimer with only a single win in 11 races.
Expectations: Carson City Ted is going to sit a few lengths back in this race and stalk the pace, but he’ll probably try to stay in the top half of the field. After losing ground towards the end in his first few route efforts, it appeared that he matured a bit as a 3yo and showed some speed at the end. But that may have been the result of a pace setup that was unsustainable, which kept Carson City Ted a little further off the pacesetter early than he normally sits, and then left him helpless as some of the closers in the field blew past. He’s shown some nice progression recently, but he may be up against it here with a jump in class to horses that have already won at this level.
Watch Level: Medium
#3 – Hyperkinetic (Honor Code x Mystic Freak [Unbridled’s Song x Kris S.]) – Owned by amity – 10/1
Race Record: 5:2-0-1; $70,660
Race History: Hyperkinetic will look like a brand new horse here in his 3yo debut, as this will be his first race following his gelding. Back when he was whole, he began his career sprinting, but after settling for 4th in his debut, he came back at 7f on the dirt in June 2018 and broke through. Sitting just 2 lengths off the pace early, Hyperkinetic had no interest in sitting back and grabbed the lead as they hit the far turn, grabbing the lead and the holding off a late run by the deepest closer. The win saw his SP actually drop to 69, but a win is a win, and Hyperkinetic continued to be stretched out. After a 3rd place run at 7.5f, he finally reached the full mile in his 4th career race and engaged a new gear. In that race, he sat midpack early, 3 off the leaders, before moving in the backstretch and grabbing the lead, never looking back and pulling away to win by 2-1/2 lengths. Hyperkinetic earned a career high 81 SP there, but unfortunately the field looks a little suspect, as the competition has combined for 2 wins in 32 collective races following that September 2018 race. Hyperkinetic comes into this race off of his second 81 SP at 8f, this time in an open allowance where he seemed either overmatched or very distracted, finishing a well beaten 5th. Amity hopes that the recent procedure keeps him more focused here.
Pedigree: Honor Code is one of my personal favorites (watching him inhale Liam’s Map in the 2015 Whitney at Saratoga was the single most unbelievable race I’ve ever seen in person)…but if you’re still reading this, you’re not interested in my favorite horses, you’re interested in facts. Honor Code stands for $40,000 in Kentucky, but his real progeny have not yet hit the track. In the sim, his #26-ranked 2018 crop includes 126 runners to date, with 54 winners winning at a 19.5% rate. Of those 54, only 1 3yo has reached the stakes winner circle, in a residency-restricted stakes at 8.5f. Honor Code’s sim progeny have a strong preference for dirt, with 82% of earnings on the main track. His foals seem to get better with distance as they age, with earnings being higher in sprints early but increasing for routers as they age (speed figures slightly favor sprints, though he has been consistent enough to throw solid long-distance runners compared to the average sire). Unlike Hyperkinetic, 8yo Mystic Freak was not gelded and therefore was bred as a he-mare to Honor Code to produce this lone foal. In his 33 race career, Mystic Freak picked up 9 wins, 6 of them at the allowance level. He also managed a 2nd place finish (in a photo) in one of his 5 (4 non-residency-restricted) stakes races, finding success on the turf at 8.5f. In general, he was successful on both turf and dirt, and showed ability everywhere from 6.5-8.5f, though his best overall races came on the turf. As a 4th year sire, it’s interesting to see that sim players LOVE the Honor Code x Unbridled’s Song cross. 27 horses have been bred over the last 3 years with that cross. Those 27 horses include Unbreakable Code, a G3 winner at 8f on the dirt as a 3yo, and one other stakes winner. The cross seems to strongly prefer dirt overall, with most of the runners finding most of their success in sprints (though that could be a function of age).
Expectations: Gelding is a relatively new concept in the sim, and one that I have not personally used, so I’m not sure how significant of an impact it makes on a horse. Hyperkinetic is expected to sit several lengths off the leaders here, probably midpack. The question is whether he gets a boost from the gelding, his 3yo debut, and/or his 3.5 month layoff. His last race was a little concerning, but he was facing an open allowance field that he may not have been ready for just yet. In addition, he seems to be on a pattern; he wins even numbered races. This is race #6, so can he do it again here? I think it comes down to the impact of gelding, but if it pushes Hyperkinetic up to the next level, he’s definitely got a shot in this field.
Watch Level: Medium
#4 – Magnolia Barbara (Quality Road x Please Applaud [Street Cry x Jump Start]) – Owned by bjbarn – 8/1
Race Record: 3:2-0-0; $35,280
Race History: Magnolia Barbara, one of the least experienced horses in this race in terms of racing frequency, is one of the most experienced in terms of racing quality. He began his career back in September 2018 in a 5.5f dirt MSW, and after stalking the pace from 3rd early, he moved forward late and grabbed the lead, drawing off to win by 1 length and earning a 79 SP. He came back 1.5 months later, this time in a NW1x at 6f, and did it all over again. Magnolia Barbara stalked the pace early, sitting 3 lengths back in 4th and biding his time, before finally kicking into gear deep in the stretch and grabbing the ¾ length victory, picking up an 82 SP for the effort. Going 2 for 2 put stars in the eyes of owner bjbarn, who then sent Magnolia Barbara to the 6f Asherons Call Dirt Juvenile stakes, where he took on today’s competitor Simply Golden (who ran 4th). Unfortunately, Magnolia Barbara showed no interest in the race, earning a career high 84 SP but never firing and finishing 8th of 11. The 3yo will get his first chance of 2019 here after 1.5 months off in his first route attempt.
Pedigree: Quality Road was the #7 ranked US sire in 2018 (#1 in G1 winners) and currently stands for $150,000 in Kentucky, after siring a number of real life successes. His sim success has not quite matched that of his real life success however, as his 2018 crop currently ranks only #104, with 46 winners in 93 runners to date (his smallest crop, and worst ranking, in the last 5 years, though it may grow). The 3yos have won at a 15.5% rate, and among them is G3 winner Quality Killer, the only stakes winner of the crop, who found success at 8f on the turf. Unlike that horse, however, Quality Road’s sim progeny typically prefer dirt (68% earnings on dirt), including 2 other stakes placed horses from his 3yo crop. In terms of distances, Quality Road’s progeny are pretty evenly split in terms of success, though the speed figures tend to be slightly higher comparatively in sprints. Please Applaud is the 11yo he-mare of Magnolia Barbara. His pedigree may have been strong, but his racing career was anything but. Part of that may be a symptom of his ownership. He debuted in 2011, where he ran in 6 races, with the best SP coming at 10f on the dirt. His owner took time off and came back in 2013, running Please Applaud twice in sprints, before leaving the game again. Please Applaud was picked up again in 2018, but by then he was already 10 years old, well past his prime. His last owner got him a cheap Hot Allowance win to bring the breeding costs down, but unfortunately his racing career was so sketchy that it’s hard to really know what he could have been on the track. Quality Road has been bred to a Street Cry mare 7 times in past 4 years, producing 2 stakes winners, both in sprints (one on turf, one on dirt).
Expectations: This is Magnolia Barbara’s first route effort, and so it’s a little tough to figure what he is going to do in this one. The stalking trips in sprints worked out for him in his first two efforts, before he was outmatched in his last stakes effort. There’s definitely a possibility, on the pedigree side, that he can get 8f, but it’s a big jump to go from 6f to 8f for the first time, especially with only 3 career races. The horse needs to learn how to save some of his speed for the longer races, and if anything, he was struggling to keep up in his last sprint. But 2019 is a new year, and with a new year comes maturity. I’m going to guess, probably incorrectly, that Magnolia Barbara tries a new tactic here and ends up sitting towards the back of the pack. Then the only question is whether that stalker move that he made in his first 2 races can become a little more pronounced at 8f. I’m a little skeptical. I think Magnolia Barbara has some definite promise, but I think this race will really be the best guide for determining his future.
Watch Level: Medium
#5 – Kymarc Fiat (Munnings x Outback Fiat [Unbridled’s Song x A.P. Indy] – Owned by kymar22 – 5/1
Race Record: 4: 2-1-0; 70,315
Race History: Kymarc Fiat came out of the box strong. Debuting at 6.5f on the dirt back in April 2018, Kymarc Fiat bolted out of the gate and never looked back, seeing his lead continue to widen until he hit the wire 2-3/4 lengths in front, earning a 75 SP in the process. But after that race, Kymarc Fiat hit the shelf. He came back 5 months later, trying a NW4L Allowance, where the time off took away his first step and he settled for sitting just off the pace. He briefly grabbed the lead before settling for 2nd behind a horse in Mission of Peace (Texas Red) that has gone on to be multiple graded stakes placed in dirt sprints. That 2nd place finish saw a big jump to an 87 SP, and Kymarc Fiat came back to a NW2L race at 6f, where he battled the pace the entire way and ended up taking the win in a blanket finish by ¼ length. Trying one more race as a 2yo, Kymarc Fiat struggled in his most recent race at 7.5f, as he was never able to get the front and finished a disappointing 5th, though he earned a career best 88 SP in the race (2nd and 3rd from the most recent race both came back to win allowances in their next race). This will be Kymarc Fiat’s first race in 2019.
Pedigree: Munnings, the #48 ranked US sire in 2018, currently stands for $20,000 in Kentucky. Predominately a dirt sprinter in real life, Munnings’ sim progeny have followed suit, with 67% of earnings coming on dirt and 75% in sprints. The 2018 crop is currently Munnings’ best ranked class, at #65, with 42 winners from 80 runners to date. None have yet reached the winner’s circle at the stakes level, though Taylor Shepard is multiple-G3 placed at 8f on the dirt and I Ate To Wynn is stakes placed in both turf sprints and routes. Notwithstanding those oddities, Munnings’ progeny are typically sprinters. Overall, Munnings has sired 3 graded stakes winners in his sim stud career. Kymarc Fiat is the 6th foal from 10yo mare Outback Fiat, a winner of 2 of 11 races in her career. Outback Fiat’s best races were in the 8-8.5f dirt range, though she may have been retired before she hit her ultimate stride. Her best foal to date has been her second, 7yo mare Dapto Fiat (Unusual Heat), who found success with a stakes win when cutting back to a 6.5f dirt sprint. Most of Outback Fiat’s progeny have done their best running in dirt sprints, though stakes placed Gutha Fiat (Speightstown) has actually excelled in 9-12f dirt races, indicating that there’s at least some stamina in the bloodlines. Munnings has been bred with an Unbridled’s Song mare 4 other times in the past 4 years (including 2 others to Unbridled’s Song x A.P. Indy mares), but to the extent that any of them have been successful, it has been sprinting (primarily on the dirt).
Expectations: Kymarc Fiat has been consistent since coming back to the track, and has made some promising runs. He learned that he didn’t need the lead in order to win, though he does like to be close. But even though the open allowance attempt in his most recent effort was a sizable class jump from the NW2L ranks, and the field seems to have been strong, I’ve got a red flag or two from the race. Unlike his prior sprint efforts, Kymarc Fiat never challenged, or even stood a chance at getting to the front. Furthermore, he never passed any horses in that race. Combined with the pedigree, I can’t help but wonder if Kymarc Fiat is more of a 6f sprinter. It’ll be very interesting to see what he does here (it’s always possible that the pull-back in the last race was jockey instructions rather than horse ability), but I’m a little worried that he doesn’t have (or want) to use the speed to get to the front here or the extra kick at the end to propel past those frontrunners. Still, this horse is only in his 5th race and has some solid potential.
Watch Level: High
#6 – Aldarity (Aldrin x Similarity [Smart Strike x Summer Squall]) – Owned by plano25 – 7/1
Race Record: 6:2-0-2; $52,798
Race History: Aldarity enters this race as the horse of the sponsor, so one would expect big things. The bargain bred gelding debuted in a hot race, finishing 3rd at 6.5f, and then dropped back to 5.5f where he proceeded to set the pace and fade in his next 2 races. But when Aldarity was stretched out for the first time, in race #4 back in October 2018, he showed a quality that he had never revealed before. Taking on a field of 12 in an 8f MSW, Aldarity battled for the lead early, then put away his challenger and the rest of the field, opening up to a 2-1/2 length win and earning an 87 SP, a 14 point jump over his prior race. Trying winners for the first time back at 8f, he again battled for the pace but faded well back to 4th, finishing 8 lengths behind the winner and dropping to an 83 SP. The winner from that race tried (and failed) at stakes company next time out, while 3rd came back to take an allowance with a 96 SP next time out. Aldarity, meanwhile, rested for the rest of 2018 and came back as a 3yo in January 2019 in a NW1x allowance, where he let another horse have the lead and sat 1 length off the pace early, before blasting past the pacesetter and opening up to win by 1-1/2 lengths. He earned a career high 92 SP in the win (and the 4th place finisher from that one came back to take an Allowance next time out by 2 lengths with a 90 SP).
Pedigree: Aldrin, a ¾ brother to Tapit, entered stud in 2018 and currently stands in West Virginia, opening up Aldarity to the local level of races. A freshman sire in 2018 in the sim, Aldrin’s 2018 crop includes 25 runners and 6 winners, who have succeeded at a 7.5% rate. 3 of those 6 have been successful in allowances (including Aldarity), and 75% of the earnings from the crop have come on the dirt. It’s too early to tell distances, but the speed figures of his progeny were comparatively better when routing thus far than they have been sprinting. Similarity, the 11yo mare, was not a great runner on the track, as she managed a single win from 16 career starts. That win came in a 8.5f maiden effort, but there wasn’t much else to write home about. Her 4 other foals have been a little more successful, as the 3 oldest have each picked up multiple allowance level wins. Those three each had their own favorite distances, but it was all within the 7-10f range on dirt. The fastest of them, Past Event (Langfuhr (CAN)), cracked the 100 SP barrier 22 times in his 36 race career, primarily at 9.5-10f, picking up 8 allowance-level wins in his career.
Expectations: The pedigree of a basement-level West Virginia sire with a maiden winning mare doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in Aldarity’s abilities. But through 6 career races, he has shown that it’s not always about pedigree. He comes into this race off of a field high 92 SP (no other horse in this field has cracked 90 yet) and he looked very strong in that last race. The key question is whether he can sit off a fast pace here and not get locked in a duel for the lead. If he gets tangled up early, he’s shown that he’s likely to fade. But if he can run his own race and sit just off of any horse that wants to duke it out up front, Aldarity has a gear that some others in this field have not yet shown, and he can kick into that gear to grab a piece of the pie. Aldarity is already the 2nd best foal of Aldrin in the sim, and he might move into the #1 spot after this race.
Watch Level: High
#7 – Private Outerview (Private Interview x Madam Glacken [Smoke Glacken x Dayjur]) – Owned by 1stclass – 28/1
Race Record: 5:2-0-2; $26,250
Race History: This is a sizable class jump for Private Outerview, the longshot in this field. He began his career in the maiden claiming ranks, debuting in turf sprints. After 3 tries there, earning him 2 3rd place finishes, Private Outerview was shifted to the dirt where he found a very soft spot in a *150 Hot Allowance in November 2018. He was forwardly placed in that race and grabbed the lead, pulling away in the stretch and seeing a SP jump up to a 73 SP in the 1-1/4 length win. Deciding to stay on the dirt, Private Outerview was stretched out to 7f in a $50K NW2L claimer, and although it was only a field of 4, Private Outerview dominated the race from gate to wire. He set the pace and kept his 2 length lead the entire way around the oval, seeing his SP jump by 13 points to a career-best 86 SP. That run led to the class jump here for his first race of 2019.
Pedigree: Sadly, Private Interview passed away in December 2018, so the 2018 sim crop will be the last of his sim career. He previously stood in New Jersey where he was #10 ranked NJ sire in 2018, making Private Outerview a prime local race competitor in the sim. Private Interview is not the most popular sim sire…his 2018 crop, which is his largest since 2015, matches his real life production and currently consists of 4 runners. Impressively, 3 of those 4 have already earned victories (winning at a 13.5% rate), one better than the real life counterpart. He has not sired any stakes winners in the sim. To the extent his 64 total progeny have shown any preference, it’s been in turf races (59% of earnings on turf), though the speed figures on both turf and dirt have been similar, and his progeny are pretty evenly split in sprints and routes, though his most recent foals have seemed to like to sprint. Madam Glacken, a 19yo mare, did the best running of her 48 race career on dirt and spent most of her career running in the 7-9f range, though her best races seemed to be over a mile. She won 6 races in her career, 5 of which came in allowances (one was CPU Value limited), and although she never hit the board in a stakes race, she finished 4th or 5th 3 times (a dirt sprint, a turf sprint, and a dirt route). Madam Glacken’s first 3 foals, all campaigned in the old sim, were all moderately successful, with the best, Silver Smoker (Silver Train), being stakes placed in dirt sprints. Her fourth foal, Delta Smoke (A.P. Delta), is a 4yo that has won twice in 13 starts, but has been running at the claiming level and has yet to really show a preference for any particular distance or surface.
Expectations: It’s interesting to see how Private Outerview has been campaigned thus far, and he definitely deserves a chance at open company in this NW3L allowance. With that said, this is a huge jump in class, and his success at the claiming and hot ranks haven’t seen large fields. He’s coming into this race off a career best run in his longest race to date, and that bodes well for getting an extra furlong here. But that last race was a 4 horse field where no one battled Private Outerview for the lead. There are a lot of questions from those past races, and unfortunately we don’t really have a strong pedigree to lean on and get an idea of what to expect here. My pure guess is that Private Outerview doesn’t have the same speed as some of the others in this race that will go to the front, and so he’ll have to sit midpack or worse here. And if he does that, I just don’t think he has the closing kick to get to the front. But regardless of how he does in this race, this is one horse that has local races calling his name, and I can see some future success at that level.
Watch Level: Low
#8 – Simply Golden (Tapit x Golden Element [Medaglia D’Oro x Forty Niner]) – Owned by 1styearflag – 6/1
Race Record: 6:2-0-1; $99,987
Race History: Simply Golden is the most decorated horse in the field, as one of his 2 prior wins came in a residency-restricted stakes race. After getting tired in his first race, Simply Golden came back strong in his second career race, a 6.5f MSW on the dirt in June 2018. There, he sat just off the pacesetters early before powering through the stretch, pulling away to win by 1-1/2 lengths with a 75 SP. He came back for 2 NW2L allowances, first at 6f and then at 8f, where he sprinted for the lead before tiring in each. A 4th place finish in the 8f race led Simply Golden to head to a residency-restricted stakes at 7.5f for Vermont. Against 5 other horses, Simply Golden once again rushed for the lead and got it, never looking back and pulling away to win by 1-3/4 and earning a career-best 90 SP. Both 2nd and 3rd from that stakes race have come back to place in non-residency-restricted stakes races. Simply Golden, meanwhile, took a shot in an open stakes race at 6f. Once again, Simply Golden set the pace, but was unable to hold off some of the others and finished 4th (today’s competitor Magnolia Barbara trailed, finishing 8th). The top 3 from that stakes all followed up with their own stakes efforts, with 1 win, 1 4th and 1 5th among them. Simply Golden heads back to routing here for his first 3yo race.
Pedigree: Tapit shouldn’t require too much introduction to sim players, as the $225,000 stud fee for the #5 ranked US sire in 2018 is the fifth highest in the world (and that’s down from $300K in 2018, when he ranked #2 on the list!). Sim players love this sire too, as his 2018 class that currently numbers 275 runners is also the #1 ranked sim class of 2018. Among those 275 runners are 166 winners (winning at a crazy 21% rate) and 12(!) stakes winners. Only one of those 12, however, has achieved Graded Stakes glory, and it took until Legacy of Evil’s most recent race, last week in an 8f dirt G3, to finally break that 0-fer. Tapit children in the sim are mainly dirt routers (71% of earnings on dirt, 60% in routes), though in terms of speed figures, Tapit throws horses that are equally adept in sprints, routes, and longer races, so distance may be passed down more from the dam’s side. Simply Golden is the first progeny of 6yo mare Golden Element, a 3-time stakes placed mare. Golden Element raced 28 times in her career, winning 8 (7 at the allowance level). She checked all of the boxes, winning in dirt sprints, turf sprints, dirt routes, and turf routes, with her highest speed figure coming in an 8.25f turf allowance, but her best results (2 stakes placings) coming in dirt miles (the third came in a 7.5 turf stakes). Most of her wins came in dirt races in the 8-9f range, though she clearly had ability on all different surfaces (including off-tracks, where she was 2nd in her lone attempt). Tapit has been bred to a Medaglia D’Oro mare 23 times in the past 4 years, including 8 times in 2018 (including Simply Golden). Those 23 foals include 1 graded stakes winner, Rubinetto, winner of The Princess Looney – G1 at 6f on dirt. Most of the success from that cross has come in dirt routes.
Expectations: Simply Golden has a ton of speed, and he’s more than happy to use it. The only races in which he hasn’t set the pace were his two maiden attempts, and with more experience and longer racing, he’s had no problem getting out in front. The concern is that his only prior attempt at 8 furlongs, in a NW2L allowance, saw him give all he had to get to the lead, and by the time they reached the far turn it was clear that he didn’t have anything left in the tank. Simply Golden looked like he had something left at 7.5f, however, so it’s possible that getting that race in gave him the experience he needs to better carry his speed. Simply Golden will be the pacesetter here; I’m just not sure if he can sustain it for this whole race.
Watch Level: High
#9 – Blue Py (Dandino (GB) x Fourth O’July [Pyro x Bluegrass Cat]) – Owned by oldmoonfarmsde – 19/1
Race Record: 7:2-2-1; $56,764
Race History: One of the number of geldings in this race, Blue Py was gelded before he ever hit the track, but that strategy proved effective early on. In his debut race, an MSW at 5.5f on the dirt back in February 2018, Blue Py stayed focused and stalked the pace early, slowly finding his way to the front and then continuing on, earning a 1-1/2 length victory and a 66 SP to make his owner happy. His next 2 races, at 6.5f and 6f on the dirt, saw him run a similar race but never quite able to grab the front. That third race, in which Blue Py finished 4th, has turned out to be a key race, as the 1st and 2nd place finishers have both gone on to be stakes placed (one on turf, one in dirt routes). Blue Py jumped over to the turf next, but his first two tries at 5.5f saw him struggle to keep up with the winner. He finally took a NW1x at 5f on the turf in career race #6, beating a field of 5 by ¾ length in a race with limited pace (2nd in that race came back to run last in a 5 horse stakes as the 7/1 longshot). Blue Py comes into this race off of a 4th place finish in a return to dirt at 6f, where he ran evenly throughout but never pressed the winners, finishing 4 lengths back and earning a career high 83 SP (2nd from that race came back to win an Allowance next time out).
Pedigree: Dandino (GB) spent a number of years racing, and winning, at 12-14f distances in GB, Canada, the US, and Australia. He entered stud in 2017 and currently stands in Australia for $5,500. He has been lightly used in the sim and sits at a bargain-basement price, with only 34 runners in each of his first 2 crops. The 34 in his 2018 class includes only 8 winners, none of whom have reached stakes caliber (and only one other than Blue Py has won a non-Hot Allowance). Thus far, 76% of Dandino (GB)’s progeny’s earnings have come on dirt, with 55% in routes, though it’s a little early in his sim sire career to get a real sense of where his foals prefer to run. Blue Py is the 4th foal from 8yo mare Fourth O’ July, who was 2 for 20 in her career. Those 2 wins both came in dirt sprints, which is where she did her best running. However, she never tried routing in her career. Her other progeny have, and her best foal to date, 6yo Pyros Moon (Denis of Cork), put up her best performances in turf miles (though most of her racing came at the claiming and starter allowance level). Neither of Fourth O’ July’s other progeny to date have done much of note (3yo Pyros Cat (Five Demon Bag) is now *CPU owned, and as a result, has raced 40 times through the end of his 3yo season).
Expectations: Blue Py is stretching out for the first time here, and we’ll see what that means for his typical stalking style. Will he still try to sit off the pace, or will he end up challenging the pace here? I think, if left to the jockey, it’s likely that Blue Py is going to battle on the front end. I’m not sure if that would be a good thing for this gelding, however, as he looks to have struggled in a couple of races when he tries to hang with faster horses up front. This is his first race as a 3yo, so he may be a little mature now and be able to rate a bit, but I’m not convinced that Blue Py wants a full mile. With that said, if he can rate a bit, he’s got some experience passing horses from just off the pace, and he may be able to use that experience here.
Watch Level: Low
#10 – Crypto Sunshine (No Nay Never x Keeper of Sunshine [Dawn Approach (IRE) x Danehill]) – Owned by lawdro9 – 5/1
Race Record: 6:2-1-2; $78,686
Race History: Crypto Sunshine debuted in turf sprints, where in his first two starts he battled for the lead before tiring. But stretching out to 7.5f on the turf in his third race turned out to be the key. In that race back in October 2018, Crypto Sunshine sat just off a hot pace in 4th, but pounced as the pacesetters tired out. He poked his nose in front on the backstretch, and pulled away to win by an easy 1-3/4 lengths with an 84 SP. He came back in NW2L allowance at 7.5f on the turf, and again found success, again sitting just off of the pacesetter (this time in 2nd) and then pouncing on the backstretch, pulling away to win by 2 lengths with an 85 SP. Those two efforts led to Crypto Sunshine trying 8f, but he struggled to keep up in his first try, never contending and fading to 8th. His most recent race, his first try as a 3yo back at 8f, saw an improvement as he kept up with his competition, but he never challenged the winner and finished 3rd, 3 lengths back. He comes into this race off a career high 89 SP, and has seen his speed figures improve in each race of his career, a positive sign for a next step as he tries the dirt for the first time.
Pedigree: No Nay Never was a sprinter in real life and currently stands for $100,000 in Ireland, where he was the #85 ranked EU sire overall (and #1 first-crop sire) in 2018. In the sim, No Nay Never’s 2018 crop currently ranks #18, with 70 winners from 107 runners to date (winning at a borderline-ridiculous 21% rate). Those 107 runners include 3 stakes winners (including Pound The Rock, winner of the End of the Line Futurity – G1 at 8.5f on the dirt and currently the #3 ranked dirt route 3yo). Overall, No Nay Never’s sim progeny strongly prefer sprinting (76% of earnings in sprints), with a slight preference for turf racing (58% on turf). 5yo mare Keeper of Sunshine was retired and bred early to produce her first foal, Crypto Sunshine. In her solid career, Keeper of Sunshine ran 18 times, picking up 5 wins, including a stakes win and 2 more stakes placings. Those efforts all occurred at 8.5-9.5f on the turf, where she seemed to do her best work (her max SP of 110 came in a 3rd place finish in a 8.5f turf stakes) as a horse that set the pace, or at least stayed close.
Expectations: Crypto Sunshine is an intriguing looking horse, and there’s always the turf to dirt bump to look for with a horse like this. He hung with a 2 time stakes-placed horse in his last race, finishing only 1 length behind that horse. But everything in his race history is on the turf, his dam loved turf, and his sire prefers turf. All of that explains why he’s already had 6 races on the turf, but it also suggests that the turf is where he belongs. I’m also curious if he’s a one-turn horse; the speed figures have been fine at 8f, but he dominated two fields at 7.5f, and even if those fields may not have shown much talent yet, one has to wonder if 7.5f is really his distance. We’ll get a solid idea of if he takes to the dirt here (and if he does, I’d love to see him try 7.5f on the dirt next), but I’ll wait and see before backing him on the new surface.
Watch Level: Medium
#11 – American Trumpet (American Pharoah x Demona Trumpet [A.P. Indy x Mr. Prospector]) – Owned by danger – 7/2 (f)
Race Record: 3:2-0-0; $62,940
Race History: The other horse competing for most lightly raced in this field, American Trumpet didn’t debut until November 2018. But when he finally hit the track, he was a monster. Debuting at 7f on the dirt, American Trumpet sat towards the back early, slowly moving forward over the course of the race, and then exploding in the stretch to pull away for a 2 length victory, earning an 88 SP. He came back one month later and repeated the performance, sitting back early and then getting first run on one of the stalkers in the race and outdueling him to a ¼ length victory, picking up a career high 89 SP. Unfortunately, his first 3yo race saw him take a step back in a NW3L allowance at 8f, where he found himself midpack early but never really got settled, and didn’t have the bottom under him to get the distance, falling 8 lengths back behind the winner and regressing with an 83 SP. He comes back here on 2 weeks rest to try another 8f dirt race.
Pedigree: We don’t know how much American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown Winner, stands for in real life and his real progeny have not yet hit the track, so all we really know is that his 2018 yearlings sold for an average of $453,273. In the sim, he was added in 2016 at the Frankel level but not quite as high as the sim’s “elite”, though that hasn’t stopped him from cracking the top 11 every year, with his 2018 crop currently ranked #3 overall. That 3yo crop includes 197 runners to date, including 110 winners finding success at a wild 21.5% rate. Among the 110 winners are 9 stakes winners, and although none have found graded success just yet, one of those stakes winners is graded placed, as are 2 other fillies. Expect those numbers to rise though, as most of those winners have done so only recently, as they finally stretch out into route races. The sim progeny of American Pharoah, much like their sire, have found most of their success on the dirt (78% of earnings on dirt) in routes (59% in routes). American Trumpet is the second foal from 18yo mare Demona Trumpet, who was a solid racehorse back in her day. She managed to find the winner’s circle 6 times in 18 career starts, all coming in dirt sprints at the allowance level. But more impressive than her own career has been the racing career of her only other foal to date, 5yo Indy Street Pro (Street Sense). Much like her mother, Indy Street Pro has found her stride in dirt sprints, winning 9 of her 18 career races to date. Unlike her mother, those dirt sprints include 5 stakes (3 graded) wins, culminating in her victory in the 2018 Breeders’ Bowl F and M Sprint – G1. Indy Street Pro is currently the #2 ranked older mare dirt sprinter in the sim. The American Pharoah x A.P. Indy cross is the most popular one for American Pharoah, as it has been used 49 times since he entered the sim breeding shed 3 years ago. Those 49 foals include 6 stakes winners (including multiple graded stakes winner Finally The One), with most of the success of these foals coming in dirt routes.
Expectations: American Trumpet has a ton of promise, and he’s the favorite in this race for a reason. His father was a Breeders Cup (and Triple Crown) winner. His half-sister is a Breeders Bowl winner. He had a monster debut, and he’s 2 for 3 lifetime. That all adds up to a horse with a very bright future. And even this race, with a field that includes a number of horses that want to be forwardly placed, seems to set up well for him. But I’m not sure this is the best race for him. First of all, the bloodlines on his dam’s side strongly favor sprints. Second, he’s coming into this race with only 2 weeks off from his first route effort. And 3rd, that route effort was a step backwards from his sprint races. It’s certainly possible that the last race was a bounce race, and that he’ll be back to normal here. And if that’s the case, he’s a strong contender here, as the race sets up very well. But I’m worried that it wasn’t so much a bounce race as a distance limitation. I’m not convinced yet that American Trumpet can get the 8f distance. If I’m wrong, he could easily win. If I’m right, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the sprint division.
Watch Level: High
There is your field for this NW3L. The race sets up with a lot of horses preferring to be forwardly placed, but interestingly enough, very few who have shown the need to get the lead. That should set up well for Simply Golden to set the pace early, trailed by Aldarity, Kymarc Fiat, Private Outerview, and possibly Cryptic Sunshine. But will the pace be too hot? My meaningless predictions are: (1) Aldarity, (2) Hyperkinetic, (3) Simply Golden. I’m betting against the favorite here, so watch and see if I’m right!
Other Races To Watch This Weekend: